To be honest, keeping our wheels clean is perhaps one of the least fun bits of the car maintenance regime. The otherwise aesthetically appealing wheel spokes also double up as odd shaped/structures to have cleaned.
Over time we have learnt a key couple of points that help to make wheel cleaning a rather fast and pain-free affair. The first point to note is regularity of cleaning. Wheel cleaning frequency has a huge impact on the ease and speed in which wheels are cleaned. The shorter the time between regular cleans (say weekly), the less time is afforded for dirt to settle and bake in over time.
Having the right tools also matter when it comes to the wheel maintenance process. If you segment a wheel, it can mainly be broken down into 3 parts. The barrel, the spokes and the lug nuts. Ideally one would have a tool to tackle each of these 3 main areas.
Image courtesy of www.wheelfire.com
The Outer Lip - Wheel woolliesare excellent for cleaning the outer lip of the wheel.
The Spokes & Center Cap -Are best cleaned with a soft bristle wheel brush (soft as it doesn't flick dirt back onto you and also easily envelopes the curves for a more thorough cleanse).
To assist with minimizing the actual effort/force required to help clean the wheels, there are a number of products we regularly use to reduce the physical force needed during the cleaning process. Products such as theCarPro Iron X LSor Scholl Concepts RIM Cleanercontain iron decontaminants which chemically react with the fine iron filings found in brake dust and leeches it out from the surface of the wheel, thus resulting in an easier clean.
Finally, where possible, applying a ceramic coat like DLUX has significant benefits in relation to keeping the wheel as clean as possible. By ceramic coating the wheels, it prevents break dust and other contaminants from bonding to the wheel. As a result, the washing process is as simple as high pressure hosing. DLUX typically lasts for a year even in the temperamental Melbourne climate and is well worth the investment. This is easily applied but the wheel must be throughly cleansed and decontaminated prior to application in instances where the wheel is not brand new.
Hopefully these tips will help make your next wheel cleaning regime less laborious! Happy detailing!